Try these easy crispy baked chicken drumsticks and thighs for a quickly prepared weeknight meal. Just coat the pieces of chicken legs with seasonings and put them in the oven.
I’ve been cleaning out the freezer to make room to stock up on some bacon. So I’m adding to my low carb chicken recipes with another creation.
Since I have a hard time finding no sugar bacon locally, I’ve been ordering it online. Ordering minimally processed bacon online is a lot more expensive, but I find it worth the extra cost. The bacon I buy contains only pork and salt.
Our freezer is usually stocked full of deer meat, but the weather was unusually mild which resulted in a poor hunting season. And, my son has been taking a lot of the meat with him to college to save on his food bill. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the back of our freezer.
At the end of the summer, my husband got a deal on chicken legs so he bought a huge box of them. I found one more package at the back of the freezer that I missed and took them out to make over a busy weekend.
So I created a simple baked chicken recipe to use them up. And the method I used makes the outside nice and crispy.
Ingredients used in the recipe
There really isn’t much to this baked chicken. I used five whole chicken legs that I cut into thighs and drumsticks. Then I dumped them in a large zipper bag to coat each piece with seasonings.
The seasonings I used were a Cajun blend, garlic powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, thyme, cayenne pepper, kosher salt, and black pepper.
I find that kosher salt sticks to the meat better than regular salt. But if you don’t have it any regular table salt can be used instead.
How to bake crispy chicken legs
Since I didn’t have a lot of time, I just cut them up and seasoned them to make these crispy baked chicken drumsticks and thighs. I thought about making my low carb shake and bake chicken, but wanted to try out a new spice blend.
As with most of my recipes, it doesn’t take much to cook these crispy oven baked chicken legs. I like to use a big zipper bag to coat the seasoning onto the chicken, but you can just rub the seasoning onto the chicken if you prefer. I just find it easier to use the shake and bake method.
To make the chicken crispy, I bake it at a high temperature (450°F) in the beginning. This crisps up the outside skin. You have to be careful, though, not to burn it. I have a convection oven, and probably had them in a little longer than I should have.
Then I reduce the oven temperature (375°F) until the meat is done. The best way to determine whether the meat is fully cooked is to use a meat thermometer. This also ensures that you don’t overcook the meat which can make it dry.
My oven has a temperature probe, so I put it into a thick piece near the bone. The meat is done when the temperature registers 165°F.
Seasoning the crispy skin baked chicken drumsticks
Baking at a high temperature first and then lowering the temperature to finish cooking is what’s important in this crispy baked chicken drumsticks recipe. It’s not the spice blend. I often add a little bit of this and that when it comes to spices without really measuring things out.
Feel free to adjust the seasoning blend to suit your taste. I love spicy food and the amount of cayenne in the recipe was too much for my husband and son, but not enough for me.
Smoked paprika gives a touch of sweetness as well as a lovely color. I used a cajun spice blend because I had it, but you can replace that with seasonings of your choice.
Recipe for Crispy Baked Chicken Drumsticks
Sometimes, I get bored with the same old chicken dish. Don’t you? It’s great to spice things up a bit or change it around. The only chicken dish that my family eats up every time is my Filipino chicken adobo. It’s a classic in our home. My oldest daughter was my pickiest eater and she gave this crispy oven baked chicken legs recipes two thumbs up!
Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Drumsticks & Thighs (Legs)
- 5 whole chicken legs cut into thighs and drumsticks
- 4 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Wash chicken pieces and wipe dry with paper towels.
Combine all spices in a large zipper bag.
Line two jelly roll pans with foil and place cooling racks on top of each.
Coat each piece of chicken with spices by shaking in the bag.
Place each coated piece of chicken on baking rack.
Bake at 450°F for the first 20 minutes then reduce temperature to 375°F. Bake until skin is crispy, about 30 minutes longer. Meat is done when thermometer reads 165°F near bone.
There's a lot of play with the spices so don't feel that you have to use the exact amounts or the exact ingredients. They can definitely be changed to suit your own taste.